Specs advice on iMac 27 inch 5K please

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 14twelve, Jun 23, 2015.

  1. 14twelve macrumors newbie

    14twelve

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #1
    I’d like some advice please. I’m ready to replace my 2011 iMac to a 27 inch 5K iMac, but am not sure the best specs to get.

    I mostly use it for general web stuff, which doesn’t need a lot of power, but I do also use it for photo and video editing (personal, not professional), recording music videos for YouTube, and multi-track recording (4 or 5 tracks at the most usually).

    So while I don’t want to spend money unnecessarily, I do want to make sure that it can do the job. The reason I’m replacing my 2011 iMac is because it is painfully slow with video editing, and photo editing now, and I’m getting the rainbow spinning circle with pretty much everything I open now.

    I keep everything on the hard drive, so was thinking the 3TB drive, as I already have 2TB of data on my current iMac. I know I could use external hard drives, but I don’t want to have something constantly connected to the iMac. I’ve heard rumours that the 3TB drive isn’t very reliable. Does anyone know if those problems have been fixed for the latest model?

    Also thinking of upgrading to 16GB RAM (I have 8GB now). Could someone please tell me if RAM in the latest model is user upgradable?

    Also after hearing the rumours of a new model coming out sometime around September/October, I’m wondering if there will be a new FaceTime camera released with the new iMacs? Anyone heard any rumours of this? It seems like it has been a few years since they have had an update.

    Thank you so much anyone who can give me some advice.
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    Whatever drive size you go for make sure it's the fusion drive the ssd portion makes all the difference for opening huge libraries of pictures etc and avoiding the beachball.

    Yes all the 27 inch imacs still have easily upgradeable ram slots accessable without opening the machine.

    Nobody has any idea on the camera that sort of thing just doesn't leak.

    However there are new Desktop chips from intel and GPU's from AMD due in the next few months so a fall refresh is certainly on the cards.

    You could pay a third party to upgrade your current imac to an SSD drive and replace your old hard drive and you may well have a machine capable for your needs for a few years to come without a big payout on a new machine. I would be too tempted by the retina screen myself though...
     
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #3
    Just stick with the baseline 5K iMac with a 1TB Fusion Drive upgrade. You'll be fine with that.

    Don't spring for the 3TB. Seagate is probably the sole supplier for the 3TB drives and they have a notoriously high failure rate.
     
  4. Dubadai macrumors regular

    Dubadai

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2015
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    #4
    Agree, you'll be fine with the baseline 5K iMac. I do the exact same things that you noted that you do on your computer, minus the audio work, and I couldn't be happier with the performance.
     
  5. redheeler macrumors 603

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #5
    The old base model (not the new 2015 with 3 TB HDD) will be fine. If you don't like having an external drive connected, get the 3 TB Fusion drive, but if you can tolerate an external, get the 256 GB SSD and add external storage.

    The RAM is upgradeable like previous models.

    It's possible, although considering the MacBook was released with a 480p camera it's clearly not much of a priority on Macs.
     
  6. ZipZap macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    #6
    I would be sure to get the base model with the 290x GPU. Best Buy runs sales on this model regularly. Use the 10% off mover coupon to get more off.
     
  7. 14twelve thread starter macrumors newbie

    14twelve

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #7
    Thank you so much everyone for your feedback! It’s really great to hear from people who have used the iMac I’m looking at to do the things I do, rather than just talking to sales staff, so thank you very much!

    You’ve given me a lot to think about, and now I’m considering the 1TB fusion instead of the 3TB. One thing I didn’t mention in my first message is that I’m in Australia, so not eligible for the Best Buy special. I can get 10% off anyway though with an education discount but that is off any model that I buy. Given that info, would you still suggest I get the 1TB instead of 3TB?

    Also it seems like the suggestion is to get the older iMac 5K instead of the new one just released because of the 290x GPU. Is that right? Do you think it will matter for resale that it is 2014 instead of mid-2015?

    Thanks again everyone for your feedback!
     
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #8
    I'm also down under in Melbourne.

    I'd suggest you to get the 3.5/8/1TB FD/M290X retina iMac instead.

    It won't matter for resale. It's still better than the mid-2015 one.

    However, since you're using this for personal usage only, the 3.3/8/1TB FD/M290 should also do you fine. When El Capitan comes out, the performance will be quite good.

    PS - if you want pure speed and reliability, a 256GB SSD + external storage will suit you better.
     
  9. 14twelve thread starter macrumors newbie

    14twelve

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2015
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    #9
    Thank you so much for that. Really appreciate your reply. I had thought of the SSD, but would rather keep the files that I'm constantly using on my computer, so I don't think 256GB would be enough, and the 1TB SSD brings the price up too high.

    I'm thinking at this stage I'll probably go 3.5/8/1TB FD/M290X retina iMac, and possibly tonight :)
     
  10. 14twelve thread starter macrumors newbie

    14twelve

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    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #10
    Yes, I'd thought of upgrading my hard drive, and keeping my current iMac, but I"m also upgrading from 21.5 inch to 27 inch so the extra screen space plus the retina display is so tempting for me.
     
  11. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #11
    For more storage with a large internal SSD, you could just get a 2TB or 4TB bus powered portable hard disk and hide it up on the back of the iMac stand with velcro. You would probably forget it is there.
     
  12. Dubadai macrumors regular

    Dubadai

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    Jun 16, 2015
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    #12
    Did you just tell him to velcro a hard drive to his iMac.... Blasphemy!

    Jokes aside, a small usb powered 2TB HDD will be unnoticed once you plug it in a hide it behind you Mac. Unless you get the bright orange Lacie Rugged that I have laying next to my iMac haha.
     
  13. 14twelve thread starter macrumors newbie

    14twelve

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    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #13
    So I did it! I got the 3.5/8/1TB FD/M290X retina iMac tonight! Can't wait to open it up and have a play! Thanks again everyone for your help.

    Good idea! I bought a 2 TB bus powered portable drive, and will probably just sit it on the stand. There are so many other things lying around (music equipment etc) that one more thing won't even be noticeable!

    Haha... I almost did get the bright orange Lacie Rugged! There was one at the Apple Store, but ended up getting a Toshiba one.

    Thanks again everyone!
     
  14. hfg, Jun 24, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2015

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #14
    As functional as the bright orange "lifeboat" is on the LaCie Rugged drives ... it does easily slip off for a neat, trim drive where you don't need the shock protection. It easily slips back on if you change your mind! ;)

    I have 2 LaCie "Rugged" drives with swapped 500GB SSDs in them for my Windows bootcamp drives, without the orange ring, and yes, velcro'd to the back stand out of sight, and out of mind. They work great for Windows. These were purchased as refurbished $80 1TB hard disk units and I removed the hard disk and replaced it with a SSD.
     
  15. 14twelve thread starter macrumors newbie

    14twelve

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    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #15
    Ah, I hadn't thought of slipping off the orange coat. Actually what stopped me from buying it was that it was three times the cost of the Toshiba one that I ended up getting. Eventually I'd like the Time Capsule, but after spending $3000 on a computer in one day, the Time Capsule will have to wait, so the Toshiba is a good stopgap in the meantime for Time Machine. I already had a drive for my files, and both of them sit nicely on the iMac stand.

    Loving the new iMac! So much faster, and I started from fresh rather than restoring from Time Machine backup so have got rid of all those little programs I may have used once or twice and forgotten about.
     
  16. Dubadai macrumors regular

    Dubadai

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    Jun 16, 2015
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    #16
    Awesome that you're happy with the machine! Did you get the baseline late 2014?
     
  17. 14twelve thread starter macrumors newbie

    14twelve

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    Jun 23, 2015
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    #17
    Yes, I did. It's perfect for what I need. So fast and the retina display is beautiful! Very happy with it, and very appreciative of everyone's advice. Without that I probably would have spent a lot of extra money on extras that I didn't need.
     
  18. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2015
    #18
    I thought that the newer 3.3ghz 2015 model was not as cost effective if you upgrade anything. Yes it's a few dollars cheeper, but that savings is eaten up as soon as you add in the fusion drive (as this base model is just a 1TB hard drive only) I would spend the extra $100 for the faster processor and better video card as in the long run if you are doing video and photo editing.
     
  19. QCassidy352 macrumors G4

    QCassidy352

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2003
    Location:
    Bay Area
    #19
    This. The 2015 doesn't really make sense because everyone should be getting the FD (or 256 SSD), and once you do that, you're only $100 lower than the 2014 low end. At that point, you might as well get the better video card and faster processor.

    Enjoy the new iMac, OP. :)
     

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